Virat Kohli’s batting form has fallen off a cliff after a couple of years of dominance.
In the first hour of the third Test at Headingley on Wednesday, he was bowled for seven by his arch-nemesis James Anderson.
Kohli has a 23 batting average in his past 18 innings.
Lean patches are a cricketer’s journey. Performances have peaks and dips as a career progresses. Kohli is surely facing challenges after repairing his flaws in 2014.
But Kohli, not for the first time in England, was out swishing at a ball that could have been left alone. He has edged the ball behind the stumps four times throughout the series.
Kohli’s slump began on the 2020 New Zealand trip, where he scored 218 runs in four T20Is, three ODIs, and two Tests.
His courageous 74 in the first innings was lost in the ashes of the catastrophic second innings of the pink-ball Test where India were devoured for 36. The India captain spent 244 minutes at the crease for his 180-ball effort. His second slowest half-century.
A similar effort would have aided India at Headingley if Kohli had waited. With KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara out, prudence was required. “You have to keep your ego in the pocket (when batting in England),” Kohli said on the eve of the Test.